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At InternWorks, our goal is to develop internships for all of our students, assuring they will gain valuable work experience and get a glimpse into their desired career fields. Two of our high school students share their experience interning at a research lab at a top hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Both students share a different perspective on a similar internship.
High School Junior – On Site in the Greater Boston Area (Summer 2019)
Before applying to colleges, I was itching for some valuable, hands-on experience and to get a taste of the future that I was planning for myself. I was very interested in majoring in science, so I applied to InternWorks, and they could not have found a more well-suited internship for me. I began my medical research internship working at a laboratory at a major hospital in the middle of Boston’s medical hub. The lab was studying preeclampsia, a condition that occurs in some pregnant women that can cause premature birth or even the death of both baby and mother. Being part of a team that was doing real work for a good cause was amazing. I really was a part of the team, and even though I was a high school student, I was treated like a researcher and given the responsibilities of one. By my second week interning, I was already carrying out procedures independently. Everyone at the lab taught me so much. The overseeing doctor made sure that I knew exactly what scientific processes I was carrying out and why, so I learned a lot about the different techniques and their purposes. Now, as a 19-year-old college student, I appreciate my internship experience even more. It helped me acquire skills and information that I still use today in classes and in other internships. Most importantly, it helped me solidify my commitment to the field of biology, knowing that I enjoyed being in an actual workplace has proven to me that I want to work in similar places for the rest of my life.
High School Sophomore – Virtual Internship (Summer 2021)
Recently, I had the opportunity to virtually intern in a vascular surgery research lab affiliated with a top hospital in Boston. During the internship, I focused on ADAMs (a Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase) and ADAMTs (a Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin Motifs). Some of the responsibilities I had as a research trainee were learning about the principles of research (developing a hypothesis, data collection methods, etc.), reading and taking notes on a scientific research paper, and participating in weekly Zoom meetings in which the research trainees had the opportunity to share their comments with other research trainees and our mentor. The highlight of my internship was being mentioned in the acknowledgements section of the research paper in which I took notes and provided input. Not only did I gain valuable, necessary experience as a high school student, but I also learned lessons that I will carry with me throughout my continued exploration of the research field. Much of the world has been working remotely for more than a year, and interning remotely was a unique work experience for me. It taught me how to adapt and be productive in virtual situations and to also see how a lab and its researchers adapted to function remotely. At the end of my internship, I felt that this experience was extremely beneficial. I gained some insight into an area that I am considering pursuing as my career, and that will help me decide which science programs are a fit for me when I start applying to colleges. I also learned lessons that I will carry with me while continuing to explore and work in the research field. I hope to intern again with InternWorks to have an on-site internship–perhaps with a different lab–during the school year or next summer.